Polish cosmetics company Inglot claims to have manufactured the world’s first-known nail polish that’s suitable for daily prayer, the “halal certified” 02M Breathable. Some Muslim women avoid nail polish because it creates a waterproof barrier over nails, making it impossible to sufficiently perform the pre-prayer washing ritual without repainting five times a day.
As a result, many women restrict manicures to period days when they don’t need to pray, according to Muslim blogger and scholar Mustafa Umar. “Yet many sisters will admit that they wish it would be somehow possible to wear nail polish at any time of the month,” he writes. “First, it is highly fashionable nowadays. Second, wearing nail polish usually indicates to another person that a sister is undergoing her period, which can be very embarrassing for others to know.”
The sheikh’s delightfully rigorous coffee-filter test suggests Inglot’s claims of water permeability are sound, making the 02M breathable line no more haram than body lotion or henna. Whether a manicure meets the Muslim standards for modesty — or is worth the risk of being chased through a shopping mall by religious police — remains to be seen.